Friday, February 11, 2011

What the...ballad.

Ahh, downtown Amman.
I suppose you have all heard of the protests that have been taking place in Egypt. Well it has had an effect on Jordan. Over the past few weeks there have been protest in downtown Amman after Friday prayers. In our family Friday is a special day for us, we always go down to the ballad and walk around, window shop and just enjoy what there is to see and do all around well built Roman ruins. I just love this tradition, but because of the protests we decided it would be better for us not to go :(

Well after talking about it and after reading the Warden message from the embassy we decided that today we would be safe.

Did I mention how much I love this place. There is always something to see and something to buy. Right now there is a lot of construction going on. The are reguniviating and revitalizing the downtown by widening sidewalks, putting in a fountain, and trees and even adding public bathrooms. They are trying to make it easier and more appealing for tourists and locals. I can't wait until it is done.

I don't think that anyone gets a clear picture of what there is to see in the ballad so I took some pictures today.

Yusuf offically became a Jordanian today. It was a little chilly and we forgot his hat so I said let's get him his first kuffiayah. You can see how happy he is now. The salesman wrapped it propperely, and Yusuf walked with his head held a litter higher, seeing that he looked like the Jordanian men.
This is a random coffee guy. He walked by all of the stores with two huge crafts filled with coffee, tea and a bag of plastic cups. Not only is there is a coffee guy but there is a guy who walkes around with plates of meat and rice, and another guy with falafel sandwiches.

Fresh dinner.... There is an area in the ballad where you can still go and pick out your dinner, while it is still alive. This picture has PETA written all over it!

Khaled admiring a garlic press at one of the many vendors who set up tables with anything and everything on them to sell. No, we did not buy it.

Cinnamon and spices. Although very tempting we only walked out with roasted pumpkin seeds and candy coated anis seeds.

Bread....the rise in flour prices is driving people to protest.


Yusuf enjoying fried dough covered in sugar syrup.

And finally when we got home Lulu wanted to become a Jordanian too!

What the....bee hive?!?!?

First off let me say sorry for the long delay in writting lately. I took a small vacation back to the states. I had a wonderful time! The kids really enjoyed every moment and the snow was....cold.

You see, I went home because I was homesick and I needed a dose of "reality" but when I was there I realized... I LOVE Jordan and I LOVE living here. I don't know what it is about this place but I feel alive here. We have made good friends and we always have something to do here. Yeah things are really backwards compared to the US but that is what makes this country great.

Well I will save my love for another post. Well the other day during one of our cold spells here of about 50 deg. f we decided to roll down our window blind. Well a window blind is a shade that is outside of your window or door that blocks out the air, sand light etc.

Well we ran into a problem, the blind kept getting stuck in the exact same spot. We could not figure out why or how this was happening. We figured the pull thing got stuck. Oh we were in for a big suprise.

Do you see that crazy looking blob! Yes that was once living in our roll panel! Khaled opened the cabinet and immedatly closed it and went running like a baby leaving me and Yusuf confused sitting directly under this monstrosity.
Well when Khaled finally came to his senses and Yusuf was in a safe area we poked this hive and found nothing was alive...thank GOD. But can you believe it?!?!? this thing was literally about the size of 2 heads and it wrapped around the backside of our shade. It gives me goose bumps everytime I think about it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

what the...cup o' joe

Just when I think it can't get any better than my breakfast guy (see the previous posts) there is another stand that has my full appriciation...

the drive through Nescafe stand. I love it. For a megar $.60 usd you can get a freshly mixed cup of Nescafe with chocolate shavings on top and served to you on a silver platter. I swear the life here is so easy...sometimes ;)

I know it is not Carabou Coffee but this is great when you need a pick-me-up and you are on the go.

what the...i pledge of allegiance

Let me tell you,  I have never seen a country so in love with the leader and the land. There is something special about Jordanians and the way they show allegiance. Every where you go there is a picture of either King Abdullah, his family, the crown prince and even God rest his soul the former King Hussein. And when I say everwhere, I mean the barbershops, schools, grocery stores, ice cream shops, falafel stands, jewerly stores, billboards and yes even sticker decals on cars. I could go on naming places where he is posted but I think you got the point.

So yeah people like to show they love the King and they also love there country so much there is a tv station dedicated to the country. 24/7 there are....get videos that show anything and everything Jordan. There are songs on there about the police forces, the army, the king, the land, the bedouin people, the dead sea etc. I love it. It is my new secret addiction to see how people LOVE this place.

Here is an example of a video they play on this station:

But on this note I have to say that I wish the United States was more like this. When was the last time you have seen a picture of President Obama? And I don't mean on the cover of the newspaper. When you see people LOVING there country and proudly showing it? And I don't mean just flying a flag on the 4th of July? When do you hear people sing about there love for the USA??? Besides at a baseball games.

I know that Americans love their country but maybe we should do more to show it.

If you would like to know more about Jordan and King Abdullah II visit his offical page:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

what the.....weekend

So we have a basic routine for our weekend in our family. On Fridays after prayers we head downtown and window shop, buy bootleg movies/music, and just enjoy our day without the congestion of cars and people. And on Saturday we head down to our local farmers market and stock up on fresh produce.

I love this place! You can find all kinds of yummy fruits and veggies that are in season and at great prices. It is interesting to shop here because there are so many stands with not only fruit and veggies but a section with fresh meat and a section with eggs/cheese, and I even saw a stand that sold dead fish in a bucket... Yeah that was disgusting I don't think many people purchase the fish, but God help those who do... Anyways it is always fun going to the market, from every corner there are people shouting out prices "dinar kilo bendora" (one dinar ($1.50usd) for a kilogram of tomato" and another 2 stands away yelling about onion, or carrots or sage. It is also SO REFRESHING to see so much green. Jordan lacks water, big time, so it is nice to come here and see  all of the color. Espically the green!

It is also a common practice that you 'taste then purchase' you see, it is wrong to cheat someone, so if someone tells you "the watermelon is sweet" you say back (bad translation) "on your knife" meaning they crack open the melon and you taste it to make sure before you buy it. This is a common practice.
Yusuf has picked up this habit now and every time we go he finds something he likes, like a pear, banana, apple etc. and he asks if he can taste it... well you know a farmer cannot resist cute kids so they cut it open and he tastes it and then we purchase based on the sweetness.

 Here the weekend is Friday and Saturday.  Because as you may or may not know in an Islamic country the holy day is Friday, so Friday is like Saturday and Saturday is like Sunday... at least in comparison to the States.

I am still getting used to this system. It is weird transition but the only way I can explain it is that it feels like there are 3 Mondays for me, awful isn't it. Let me elaborate...
Friday here feels like a Sunday back home. Everyone goes to prayers and everything is closed, so it feel like Sunday to me. So when I go to bed I feel like the next day will be Monday (1), like a work day back home, but really it is Saturday, the end of the week. So after I get over that realization when I wake up Saturday morning I realize it is the end of the week and Saturday is really like Sunday (back home) so then my Sunday here really feels like Monday (2). Now if that isn't bad enough, there is the real Monday (3) which is just a normal work day here, but because this whole different weekend schedule here still gets me I still feel the Monday blues like I did back home....Are you confused yet???

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

what the....ta-tas

All I could do was laugh when I saw this manaquin.
Can you see it? Well I don't know where this store went wrong... they have great wear but the manaquins look like they should be at V-Secret. I mean those nips are like 2 inches out there. NO JOKE! So much for a modest country.

what the...disney

So I was visiting our local grocer...Carfoure.. this is the French version of 'the evil empire' aka Walmart and I was stopped in my tracks becase there is a bottle of non-alcoholic champange for kids, with non other than Mickey Mouse plastered on the front of it with the text "happy kids." I don't know is this sending the wrong message??? We do live in an Islamic society and as you may or may not know muslims are not suposed to drink alcohol. So why promote this... espically to children? I don't know, it is kind of weird to me.